Valley Record gets new editor

The Snoqualmie Valley Record welcomed new editor Leah L. Culler to its staff on Nov. 8.

"We feel real fortunate to have Leah come to us. She will bring fresh ideas and new layout techniques to the pages of the Valley Record," said Jim McKiernan, Snoqualmie Valley Record publisher.

Raised in New Mexico, Culler moved to Washington in August of this year from Utah, where she attended college and has lived for several years.

After working at several newspapers in New Mexico and Utah as a reporter and editor, Culler decided to make the move to Washington.

She brought her 8-month-old rat terrier mix named Wheezy along for the ride.

"I really love this area and I wanted to end up here eventually," she said, noting that she had friends who already lived in Washington. "I had an opportunity, so I took it."

She was most recently the city editor for the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah, where she started as a copy editor and also worked as the news editor. She has also worked for the Daily Times in Farmington, N.M., and the Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Attracted to the field because of a love of and aptitude for words and language, Culler graduated from Utah State University in 2001 with a major in journalism and a minor in political science.

During her last year in school, Culler was awarded Journalist of the Year by her college newspaper, The Utah Statesman. She also received an Associated Press Managing Editor award for her coverage of fires at Mesa Verde National Park in 2000.

Culler said she is excited about the opportunity to represent the Valley Record as its editor.

"I think it will be fun and I have an opportunity to learn a lot," she said. "I was impressed with the quality of the newspaper and I'm very excited about being a part of it."

Culler just moved to North Bend this past weekend and is excited to live and work in the Valley. She will be primarily covering North Bend, but hopes to get to know the entire area.

"I just want to be open to what the community needs," she said. "I want to continue to provide quality journalism to Valley Record readers."

Former editor Ben Cape recently moved with his wife and new baby to Colorado to be closer to family and work as a copy editor for the Greeley Tribune.

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